Writing market Polychrome Ink

Polychrome Ink has so much individual personality they have to be the one, the only such writing market extant. I was noodling around for someplace to submit “Tin Cans”, a horror story that has gotten considerable attention and publication elsewhere (and that is another factor — selling reprints), and came up with PI.

Polychrome Ink/Dark Markets will look at these categories of human distress:

Abuse: Physical
Abuse: Emotional
Abuse: Sexual
Abuse: Animal
Self-Harm: General
Self-Harm: Cutting
Self-Harm: Eating Disorder
Violence: General
Violence: Gore
Violence: Descriptive Hate Crime
Violence: Mutilation

Any story containing the above topics must have a heading before any other word on the submission as trigger warnings. The submitter should then select an editor suitable to read said story.

They define diversity as the following as platforms for the “under-represented”:


You might need to look up their meanings. I did.

Polychrome Ink’s motto is: “We hope to normalize diversity.”

They publish bi-annually.

Wonder how my “Tin Cans” will make out there?


The Humane Society of it

“Pets/Pet Care” does not fit my topic but at least it is about animals.

Do you remember when television programs in the 60’s began covering animal wildlife? America’s education began at that point. We learned compassion as well and recognized the therapeutic qualities of relationships with our pets. Now some of us have begun calling them our “animal companions” and ourselves “guardians”, while on the other end of the spectrum there are still puppy mills and Tennessee show horses having their hooves “sored”, or painfully damaged to make the horses go high-stepping in the ring. And this: the majority of states permit the slaughter of dogs and cats for food.

The Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, one of dozens of other animal welfare organizations including the SPCA and ASPCA and Defenders of Wildlife, is headed by Wayne Pacelle, whom I met last year when invited to the SPCA in San Francisco. He began working for Cleveland Amory in his teens and became a vegetarian shortly after.

Cleveland Amory was one of the first animal conservationists in the 60’s. He once purchased a secondhand tramp steamer, reinforced its hull with concrete blocks and sailed it into the Arctic to rescue seal pups from slaughter. He founded the Fund for Animals and sanctuaries in Texas and California and perhaps other states.

China and other Asian nations remain indifferent to cruel treatment of animals. Their TV programs do not bother with wildlife or domestic animals. Why do that when in Vietnam they gift puppies as food? Vietnamese, Thai and Korean people slaughter their dogs and cats in a brutal manner. That is their culture, and I doubt it will change.

Will Chinese billionaires continue to buy ivory trinkets regardless of world opinion, keeping alive the poachers’ market? Will Chinese continue farming bears for their bile? They have believed for centuries that bear bile as well as rhino horn have medicinal properties, and now they are farming tigers to extract “medicinal” substances from their bones.

The list goes on, and the cry to heaven is deafening.

Review: the film “M. Butterfly”

This 1993 film featuring Jeremy Irons as a French diplomat (actually he was the bookkeeper at the French Embassy in Beijing) falling in love with an actress played by John Lone was based on a true story. These are the ’60s and China is held in the steel fist of communism. The first time he sees Lone as Madame Butterfly singing Un Bel Dî on stage captivates him. How the Frenchman continues to believe the actress is a woman throughout their love affair is a fascinating thesis. Throughout their time together–and he lived in China several years–he remains ignorant of the fact that Chinese opera roles featuring women are always played by men.

Butterfly tells him she is pregnant and goes away from him to have her baby. What she does is confer with her communist handler about obtaining a suitable-looking boy child to bring back to him. Gallimard has been promoted to Vice Consul. Once the baby has been displayed to him, Butterfly leaves again as a prisoner. The performing arts have become discredited as decadent. In his turn, Gallimard loses his post in disgrace for incompetence and returns to Paris.

After we have seen Butterfly breaking rocks with other political prisoners, she then appears to Gallimard suddenly in Paris. She inveighs upon him to become a diplomatic courier; as before Gallimard has no idea she is a man or that she is a spy.

When they are both caught by French Securité Gallimard finally learns he has been duped all those years. Butterfly, garbed in a man’s suit, is escorted back to China by a communist official. His fate is unremarked but certainly appears to be desperate. Imprisoned in his turn, Jeremy Irons then displays the finest acting I have ever seen from him. There should have been a riot of violins accompanying his final moments, or perhaps there was and I was so caught in the scene that the violins formed a righteous part of it.

The title “M. Butterfly” to me implies that “M” stands for Monsieur, not Madame. The creators of the play certainly aren’t making the distinction clear, leaving the ambivalence in the air. I wonder what has happened to John Lone?


It is raining hard in the San Francisco Bay Area, still such a rare welcome event before it becomes tiresome in the next two months. Finally, finally, the four-year drought is breaking. But there is already distress in the fire-ruined areas of California where mudslides are occurring this very minute. And we have no grasp of real natural disasters when the seas will inevitably rise, Paris climate accord or no, for we are too far along on our path of carbon-emission damage to prevent low-lying island nations from being drowned.

Not only island nations, but I am thinking of Venice. In 2001 its narrow streets in the afternoon tides were impassable if not for wooden platforms set up for pedestrians. Those streets are lined with shops. I do not see how the huge cathedral on San Marco square with its basement shrine will keep dry. I am so very distressed at the prospect of similar disasters throughout the world, and still the Republican presidential candidates persist in ignoring their advent. How long can they continue to defend the fossil-fuel industries in their states? The silence on the subject resounds ever more loudly as they talk around it. The presidential candidates have degenerated to personal attacks on each other or else on the hot topic of terrorism.

I was bemused to learn last year that Larry Ellison of Oracle had purchased beachfront property in Southern California in the millions of dollars, and almost the entire island of Lanai. This man truly believes in the official Republican denial of what is happening to our atmosphere.

The downpour continues, and my big cat Loaner begs to go outside to the sheltered porch to enjoy it. Her sister Pinky did the same and stayed out for hours.The little guy, Bijou, wants no part of it, preferring to gallop up and down the house to burn off his high energies. Things could be worse in this household, at least.

The high life in Brazil

Gabriel and Marilia were Brazilians who appeared to have it all. Gabriel headed up two engineering companies and Marilia managed their social life. Renato and I were often invited to their sitio — country home — high in the mountains away from Rio de Janeiro, which sported a swimming pool, a huge barbecue pit, two houses, a sauna, and some very handsome conifer growth around the estate.

There was always a contingence of neighbors and other city friends partaking of Gabriel’s and Marilia’s hospitality, and there was one in attendance who fascinated me. This neighbor brought it in his pocket, a tiny pygmy marmoset that couldn’t have weighed more than three ounces. The little fellow was very tame, or perhaps the ambience intimidated it and he wanted to stick close to his owner, who fed it an olive and a bit of carrot while I yearned to hold the animal but did not venture to ask. And after it had fed, curled up under a napkin and went to sleep.

The rest of us went on to consume various kinds of meat carved from a gigantic haunch of beast spinning slowly over the coals in the pit, and linguisa, handed around on skewers, and we drank gallons of Chopp, the beer that came to identify Brazilian casual dining. We did not bother with wine most of the time. For the meal, a few guests had brought their own knives, large silver-handled things that were usually family heirlooms. The stores sold new ones made to look like old ones; I purchased one, and it reposes now in a drawer neglected and forgotten except for this entry.

And here’s a note that has nothing to do with the foregoing: I had a thought the other day about the Trump. What is he like after having had too much to drink?

A Roman peeping tom

I was living alone in a suburban apartment in Rome, my mother, sister and her husband having immigrated ahead of me to the United States. For some reason I was the last to receive clearance. As the youngest in the family, it was also most peculiar that it took longest to check me out. I was going down to the American consulate in Naples by train almost weekly to be run through the investigative process.

Meanwhile, I had known for a week that the porter’s son had been spying on me. My bathroom window was set high up and faced the hallway of the building; he must have had a step stool with him or some such each night I took my bath. I would look up and see a nose pressed against the glass above me, but by the time I got up, covered myself, and went to the front door with the kitchen knife in my hand, he was long gone.

I tried to cover up the window, which was awkward. A piece of cardboard just wouldn’t stay in place without falling down on my head. I taped a sheet of paper across the glass and changed my mind about that. What I really wanted to do was catch the son of a….porter.

One night I drove in a nail on the baseboard across the hall from my door and tied a cord to the nailhead. I ran the cord to my door and into the crack between door and frame. It was the one time I was glad of the drafty construction of the building.

Then I proceeded to fill my bath. When I figured the nose was well pressed against the glass I went around to the front door and pulled up the cord and tied it to the doorknob. I got into the tub, looked up and let him see I had spotted him, and scrambled out of the tub. The sound of him falling hard outside in the hall was most satisfying. I didn’t mind at all having to have the doorknob fixed.

He didn’t come back, and he stayed out of sight whenever I went out. My mother, when I wrote her about this exploit, was not entertained.